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41
votes
11answers
9k views

Is the usage of 'personally' in 'I personally don't like something' redundant?

What is the difference between the following? I personally don't like wax museums. I don't like wax museums. The adverb personally does not seem to emphasize anything here. Is it ...
2
votes
3answers
297 views

Can a double negative be used to express caution or uncertainty?

In the following statement, what is the effect of the double negative? Is it necessarily emphasis? Or could it be a kind of cautious statement implying a degree of uncertainty? If a double negative ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Is “much” used for emphasis in “much to your surprise”?

What is the main difference between these sentences: To your surprise, he is alive. Much to your surprise, he is alive. Is much only used to emphasize your surprise? Can I have a ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the difference between “so much” and “quite so much”?

I was told that "so much" is more emphatic than "quite so much", but I am not sure. Could you explain the difference between the following pairs of sentences? Don't put so much emphasis on that ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

“It is only me that is” or “It is only I that am”

It is only me that is confused. or It is only I that am confused. The first one sounds more natural to me while the second one appears to me as grammatically correct. Which one is correct?
3
votes
2answers
360 views

Can all question words be followed by “the hell”?

What the hell did I marry? Why the hell did I marry? When the hell did I marry? Where the hell did I marry? ... Can all question words be followed by "the hell"?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to properly emphasise words with italics in sentences?

I'm not sure if I can ask this question here, because it is more of a writing issue. My native language is French and I have been reading and watching stuff in English and I am quite fluent with the ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Can “be” be used with the modal verb “do”?

These two sentences are both valid I write this sentence. I do write this sentence. Are these both valid? I am writing this sentence. I do be writing this sentence.
3
votes
2answers
553 views

Wrong usage of “myself ”, or just putting emphasis on “me”?

I was writing the following sentence, and I realized it somehow sounds odd: I am constantly trying to remind myself to think carefully before speaking, but those moments I forget to do so end up ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

What is the difference between “in terms of” and “as far as is concerned”?

What's the difference of their emphasis? Often I felt these two are very similar. For example, In terms of quality, A is better than B. is similar to: As far as quality is concerned, A is better ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “learning yourself” the same as “learning by yourself”?

(Other than the first also meaning to learn about oneself...) Is learning yourself the same as learning by yourself? How much do these two phrases differ? In India's spoken English, the former is ...
4
votes
2answers
804 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
4
votes
3answers
810 views

Is there a difference between “Joe said” and “said Joe”?

Does the subject/verb order make a difference when writing a dialog tag? "The sky is blue," Joe said. "The sky is blue," said Joe. Is one preferable over the other? Does one emphasize the ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

“The” for laying emphasis

Is this a correct statement? "The lion and tiger belong to the cat family." Or should it be - "The lion and the tiger belong to the cat family."
2
votes
2answers
826 views

Meaning based on emphasis

Is there a term used to explain how some words change meaning based on the accent? For example, "convict" can be both a noun and a verb depending on which syllable is emphasized. The same is true for "...
6
votes
1answer
606 views

How can I determine the proper stressing of words?

I am working on a sonnet. This pretty much mandates the use of iambic pentameter and therefore requires that I have a good grip on emphasis. However, I'm not exactly sure how to properly research ...
6
votes
3answers
731 views

How did the phenomenon of doubling words come about?

I am referring to phrases such as: "Do you like her, or do you like like her." Can someone provide an explanation of this? There are many more examples but none come to mind at the moment.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin and use of “in and among itself”

Where does the expression in and among itself come from? Is it only used for emphasis compared to in itself? For example, This would be interesting in and among itself.
0
votes
1answer
3k views

When is the construction “I myself” suitable? [closed]

A previous question, How to call attention to "I" without "I myself" or the pretentious "Even I"?, suggested that the "I myself" construction is often used for emphasis, with one answer correctly ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Is misplaced emphasis a form of mispronunciation?

I was speaking with someone today and he brought up the TV show "South Park", and he emphasized the "Park" whereas most people (and the show itself, I believe) emphasize the word "South". This got me ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to call attention to “I” without “I myself” or the pretentious “even I”?

I find that in persuasive conversation, whether written or oral, it is sometimes useful to draw attention to the "I" in the sentence, giving the connotation that you are confessing or conceding to ...
79
votes
3answers
48k views

Is “believe you me” proper English?

I understand the phrase "believe you me" to be an emphatic version of "believe me" but how did it come to be? Is it a poor translation into English?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why use “Hell” to emphasize a statement?

I was watching Rocky last night and one of the lines got me thinking. I was wondering why we use Hell in sentences like "A Hell of a lot better than…," "Hell, that's the best thing that's ever ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Pronunciation of voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ as ʃ (/sh/) in slang?

Observed some words get pronounced with a /sh/ rather than /s/ in certain situations. Stripes as "Shtripes" (from some "The Wire" episode) Screw it as "shcrew it" (from a rap song) In both ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Emphasising sentences

It's pretty clear that using do/did we can emphasise a verb. Such as I do recommend reading that book. or I did enjoy the movie. But the question is, how to emphasise sentences like I am keen ...
43
votes
6answers
225k views

“Whether or not” vs. “whether”

This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job. This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job or not. This will depend on whether or not he's suitable for the job. It is ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to add emphasis to a modal verb

To add emphasis to a normal verb, we use the emphatic do: He does run fast. Do come in. Do brush your teeth. Obviously, with modal verbs this would be a grave mistake: (*) He ...